Chapter 16

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Gradually the sky above the horizon began to illuminate with the first glow of the coming day.  Outside of the bay window some shadows dissipated while others took form.  In the height of the tree the branches of the willow were now clearly etched in the horizon and at the base of the tree the first morning light revealed a figure on the split log bench.  A man sat with his arms wrapped around himself rubbing his sides.  Abby had not seen Will go out of the house yet she knew he was the man on the bench.  “He could have been out there half the night,” she thought.  Abby continued watching Will through the bay window as the morning brought more light.  With the morning light Abby was able to see Will clearly.  Will was talking to the tree.

Abby was not sure how long she had watched her father down by the frozen lake.  Some time had passed and the sun had fully risen to a vibrant day.  The golden light refracting from the morning sun created shimmering diamonds on the icy snow and small animals and winter birds were moving around.  Abby stood up and stretched her arms from her sides.  She decided that she needed to go out and speak to her father.  Abby did not get dressed.  She put her coat and boots on, wrapped a blanket around herself, and tromped out to the lake.

“Good morning,” said Abby.

“Oh, Good morning.”

“I saw you out here.”

“I was here, here I am.”

“I mean I couldn’t sleep either.  I watched the sun come up from the house and saw you were out here, early,” said Abby.

“Oh yeah, well you know, you get old, you’re up early.”

“I saw you talking to the her willow.”

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